Do I love you because you're beautiful
Or are you beautiful because I love you?
Once, a powerful king agreed to help a small, lost boy find his mother. Since the boy described his mother as the most beautiful woman in the world, the king commanded all the beautiful women in the kingdom to come to the castle.
From miles around, they came - women with complexions of porcelain and hair of spun gold, with cheeks the color of apricots and eyes as dark as the raven's. But none of them was the boy's mother. When the last of the women had paraded before them, and the king and the boy had begun to despair, they heard a timid knock on the door. "Come in," the king said wearily. In shuffled an old washerwoman, her grey hair tied up in a kerchief, her hands rough and red, her dress coarse and patched.
"Mother!" the boy cried when he saw her, and he leapt from his chair and raced into the woman's arms. The king stared in amazement.
Will I be able to see the real beauty in others today?
Daily Bible Readings From The Universal Life Church World Headquarters
Reading 1, Jeremiah 28:1-17
1 That same year, at the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fifth month of the fourth year, the prophet Hananiah son of Azzur, a Gibeonite, spoke as follows to Jeremiah in the Temple of Yahweh in the presence of the priests and of all the people,
2 'Yahweh Sabaoth, the God of Israel, says this, "I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon.
3 In exactly two years' time I shall bring back all the vessels of the Temple of Yahweh which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from here and carried off to Babylon.
4 And I shall also bring back Jeconiah son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah and all the exiles of Judah who have gone to Babylon, Yahweh declares, for I shall break the yoke of the king of Babylon." '
5 The prophet Jeremiah then replied to the prophet Hananiah in front of the priests and all the people present in the Temple of Yahweh.
6 'So be it!' the prophet Jeremiah said, 'May Yahweh do so! May he fulfil the words that you have prophesied and bring all the vessels of the Temple of Yahweh and all the exiles back to this place from Babylon.
7 Listen carefully, however, to this word that I am now going to say for you and all the people to hear:
8 From remote times, the prophets who preceded you and me prophesied war, disaster and plague for many countries and for great kingdoms;
9 the prophet who prophesies peace can be recognised as one truly sent by Yahweh only when his word comes true.'
10 The prophet Hananiah then snatched the yoke off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah and broke it.
11 In front of all the people Hananiah then said, 'Yahweh says this, "This is how, in exactly two years' time, I shall break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and take it off the necks of all the nations." ' At this, the prophet Jeremiah went away.
12 After the prophet Hananiah had broken the yoke he had snatched off the prophet Jeremiah's neck, the word of Yahweh came to Jeremiah,
13 'Go to Hananiah and tell him this, "Yahweh says this: You have broken the wooden yokes only to make iron yokes to replace them!
14 For Yahweh Sabaoth, the God of Israel, says this: An iron yoke is what I now lay on the necks of all these nations to enslave them to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. (They will be enslaved to him; I have even given him the wild animals.)" '
15 The prophet Jeremiah said to the prophet Hananiah, 'Listen carefully, Hananiah: Yahweh has not sent you; and thanks to you this people is now relying on what is false.
16 And so, Yahweh says this, "I am going to send you off the face of the earth: you will die this year (since you have preached rebellion against Yahweh)." '
17 The prophet Hananiah died the same year, in the seventh month.
Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 119:29, 43, 79, 80, 95, 102
29 Keep me far from the way of deceit, grant me the grace of your Law.
43 Do not deprive me of that faithful word, since my hope lies in your judgements.
79 Let those who fear you rally to me, those who understand your instructions.
80 My heart shall be faultless towards your will; then I shall not be ashamed.
95 The wicked may hope to destroy me, but all my thought is of your instructions.
102 I do not turn aside from your judgements, because you yourself have instructed me.
Gospel, Matthew 14:13-21
13 When Jesus received this news he withdrew by boat to a lonely place where they could be by themselves. But the crowds heard of this and, leaving the towns, went after him on foot.
14 So as he stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them and healed their sick.
15 When evening came, the disciples went to him and said, 'This is a lonely place, and time has slipped by; so send the people away, and they can go to the villages to buy themselves some food.'
16 Jesus replied, 'There is no need for them to go: give them something to eat yourselves.'
17 But they answered, 'All we have with us is five loaves and two fish.'
18 So he said, 'Bring them here to me.'
19 He gave orders that the people were to sit down on the grass; then he took the five loaves and the two fish, raised his eyes to heaven and said the blessing. And breaking the loaves he handed them to his disciples, who gave them to the crowds.
20 They all ate as much as they wanted, and they collected the scraps left over, twelve baskets full.
21 Now about five thousand men had eaten, to say nothing of women and children.
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